Six environmental NGOs have expressed shocked at Mepa’s green light for the environmental degradation in the Dwejra Natura 2000 site.

In a statement, Nature Trust, Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Din L-Art Helwa, Ramblers Association, BirdLife Malta and Friends of the Earth Malta, said they were appalled that filming was being allowed at the Natura 2000 site and tonnes of sand were being deposited over the protected Dwejra rock-face.

“This activity was allowed to happen on a site that is of geological, geomorphological, botanical, ornithological importance and on an area rich in Scutella fossil beds and fossilised burrows which forms part of the core zone, the most important part of the protected area in the Qawra/Dwejra Heritage Park Action Plan, protected by both national and international legislation, and where no cars were allowed to enter or park as per Dwejra Heritage Park Action Plan.”

The organisations said that recent weather conditions caused the material to end up in the sea – into an area declared as a marine protected area and also a Natura 2000 site.

Mepa, they said, was duty bound to protect this site and not allow such irresponsible activities to occur.

The NGOs asked why permits were issued for this activity and why Mepa did not immediately halt the damage and take legal action against the film producers.

They asked why was a monitor not posted on site continuously.

They called on Mepa to ensure that the area was restored to its original state as soon as possible.

“What happened at this site is shocking and whoever was responsible for this activity or for a permit to be issued, should now be held accountable for any damage,” they insisted.

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